346 Hodgson to Shedden
Memorandum CANBERRA, 9 December 1943
The proposed Conference with New Zealand has now been postponed until January as it has proved impossible to arrange mutually convenient dates in December. 
2. It is appreciated that there are difficulties in formulating precise views on defence matters in advance of political decisions regarding the international security structure in the Pacific. On the other hand the political decisions, involving as they must commitments in regard to the defence of particular points and areas, cannot safely be made without prior advice on defence matters, especially (a) the essential requirements of Australian security and (b) the degree to which Australia is capable of providing for these requirements.
3. The draft Agenda for the proposed Conference with New Zealand (copy enclosed with my memorandum of 23rd November ) indicates the general nature of the defence questions with which the Conference would be concerned.
4. The following topics are proposed, in accordance with the suggestion in paragraph (6) of your memorandum of 6th December , for consideration by your Department. Memoranda covering the following would be appreciated:-
1. Bases in the South-West Pacific Area which must be controlled by Australia.
2. Bases in the South and South-West Pacific Areas which must be controlled by a friendly power.
3. Extent to which Australia could maintain bases mentioned under (2) including consideration of cost, manpower, industrial potential, etc.
4. Mutual defence problems and interests of Australia and New Zealand.
Desirable forms of mutual assistance as contribution towards maintenance of peace and security between Australia and New Zealand (e.g. Munitions; Aircraft; Staff co-operation; Supply).
6. Defence problems connected with civil air transport in SouthWest and South Pacific Areas.
7. General view of a desirable international security system in the Western Pacific.
5. It is suggested, as a practical means of collaboration in the preparatory work for the Conference, that an officer of your Department might be assigned to confer at an early date with officers of the Department of External Affairs.
W. R. HODGSON